Brian Kemp, Georgia’s current Secretary of State and the Republican candidate for governor is accused of purging millions of voter registrations, specifically 1.4 million since 2012 and 670,000 in 2017 alone, according to NBC News.
Calling Kemp on his alleged actions are his opponent the Democratic candidate for governor Stacy Abrams and voting rights advocacy groups who claims that Kemp is leading a full-scale, systematic, voter disenfranchisement program that impacts African-Americans and minorities the most.
Kemp who presides over elections and voter registration in Georgia has denied the allegations against him via his campaign spokesman Ryan Mahoney.
“It has never been easier to vote in our state,” Mahoney said. “Kemp is fighting to protect the integrity of our elections and ensure that only legal citizens cast a ballot.”
Mahoney continued that under Kemp’s tenure a new online voter registration system and a student engagement program has been implemented.
However, critics argue that the “exact match” law in Georgia that freezes a registration if a person with a hyphenated last name doesn’t have the “exact” hyphen on their drivers license is targeting certain communities and causing a disparity
Records obtained from Kemp’s office through a public records request, saw that 53,000 registrations were on hold with his office — and was flagged because it ran afoul of the state’s “exact match” verification process.
According to NBC News, “An analysis of the records obtained by The Associated Press reveals racial disparity in the process. Georgia’s population is approximately 32 percent black, according to the U.S. Census, but the list of voter registrations on hold with Kemp’s office is nearly 70 percent black.”
Kemp and associates blame voting groups like the one Abrams founded, New Georgia Project, for its untrained and ill prepared canvassers who signed people up to vote. The majority of these on-hold registrations being black is a coincidence.
The GOP candidate for governor in Georgia has dismissed threats and legal action about how his office has handled voter registrations saying, “it’s high time for another frivolous lawsuit from liberal activist groups.”